Tim Langdell: The EDGE of Insanity?

By: Derek Yu

On: May 29th, 2009

Tim Langdell

Mobigame’s award-winning iPhone game Edge has been removed from the App Store, pending a legal battle with Tim Langdell (pictured at right) over the trademark “Edge.” What’s troubling is that, according to a GameSetWatch article by Simon Carless, Langdell, who founded and owns the company Edge Games, has had a history of using his trademark to cause creators grief and to link himself with various high-profile media projects, including, but not limited to, games.

“We have legal issues with a man named Tim Langdell,” says Mobigame’s David Papazian. “If you already asked why Soul Edge (the Namco game) was called Soul Blade and later Soulcalibur in the US, you have your answer.” (via Fingergaming)

If you look on Tim’s Wikipedia page, you’ll notice that he is associated with Edge Magazine, a Malibu Comics character named Edge, and also the movie The Edge, starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin. What Tim actually did on any of these projects is questionable, but my guess would be that it’s about as much work as he will do for Edge, the iPhone game, once all the dust settles. Namely, he threatened to sue the living fuck out of anyone in his path (mind you, this is conjecture).

Anonymous Ninja

You may also notice that the Wikipedia entry is oddly detailed and poorly cited for a man who no one has really given a shit about until now… it’s also under a neutrality dispute. And no wonder – the entire page is almost single-handedly the creation of user Cheridavis, who, very coincidentally, shares the name of Tim’s wife, Cheri Davis Langdell. When pressed on the issue of neutrality, Cheridavis wrote: “You are mistaken. I am writing a book on founding members of the game industry and noticed that Tim Langdell was one of the only people missing from Wikipedia. The article I created is based on my research, not on being Tim Langdell or knowing him personally.” That would be Tim Langdell, the husband of Cheri Davis Langdell, the founder of the game industry, the producer of such notable titles as Fairlight and Snoopy: The Case of the Missing Blanket, and the man who participated in these three roundtables at GDC this year:

– Who Controls a Game’s IP and Who Reaps the Financial Benefit?

– How to Design Your Game So That its IP is More Valuable to Hollywood

– How to Sell Your IP to Hollywood (Without Selling Your Soul)

If you’re wondering where Simon’s article for GSW went, it is, for whatever reason (heh), not available anymore. Unless you go to NeoGAF or any of the other places the article has been reposted. And if, after reading this, you’re wondering, like I was, about Mirror’s Edge, you’ll be happy to note that Mr. Langdell’s EDGE Games is currently working on a new game called “Mirrors a game from Edge,” which I’m sure will not conflict in any way with the popular parkour-inspired FPS.

Jokes aside, the most frightening thing about this entire debacle is not how greedy and disingenuous human beings can be (you should be used to it by now), but that Mr. Greedyguts himself is a board member on the IGDA, a non-profit organization created to empower game developers and advocate on their behalf. Which is, in this author’s distinct opinion and should in no way be construed as a fact, somewhat like having Joseph Mengele on the board of the Red Cross. It’s absolutely fucking ridiculous and brings the credibility of the organization to serious question. How does this happen and what are they going to do about it?

Thanks to mklee for pointing this out, via TIGForums. Thanks to John Nesky for pointing out the GDC roundtables.

Update: The IGDA has responded, and so has Tom Buscaglia, the “Game Attorney” (and also an IGDA board member).

Update 2: The follow-up to this article can be found here.

  • Update
  • g3kko

    “I propose this article be kept. The reasons given for deletion, although justified a few days ago, have now been addressed by multiple editors. The reason for the recent vandalism is because there is a current controversy over trademarks. That is dying down now. But this case could become a memorable landmark for determining acceptable behaviour on trademark disputes between trademarks of company names and game titles. And so for that reason I suggest it should stay. But I won’t remove the delete tag myself because I have a conflict of interest in that I am a member of the same organisation. (Paul Sinnett) (talk) 23:48, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
    ….
    I certainly doubt that this case will go to court. My guess is that Mobigame will rename their title rather than go to any expense. But I think this story might represent a memorable example in forming opinions of acceptable use of trademarks; certainly among many independent game developers as represented by groups like tigsource etc. Then again, maybe a page about Tim Langdell is not the place for this… (Paul Sinnett) (talk) 00:30, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

    From soon to be deleted Tim Langdell Wiki page – discussion section.

  • Close to the hedge

    Guess my new game is screwed then…

    http://img197.imageshack.us/i/hedgescreen.jpg/

    HEDGE – the everyday tale of a british childrens pastime – hedgehopping.

    actually this is kind of fun and should be a competiton

  • edge games competition

    when is it?

  • http://www.dyson-game.com Alex May

    @g3kko

    Paul Sinnet is organising the London chapter of the IGDA and is doing his best to improve the image of the organisation. He’s a level-headed guy, and has my full support. He certainly isn’t a fan of Langdell from what I’ve read.

  • http://www.the2bears.com the2bears

    His reputation is expanding faster than the universe.

    He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels.

    He lives vicariously through himself.

    He is the most interesting man in the world.

    “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis” – Tim Langdell

    The Most Interesting Man in the World

  • Paul Sinnett

    I didn’t know anything about him before this weekend. We (IGDA London) are having a meeting tonight. If anyone wants to come along and make their feelings known you’re more than welcome.

    http://www.igda.org/london/next/

    For my part, I promise to report any views back to the board and the other chapters.